DREDGING at New Zealand’s Port of Lyttelton is set to begin soon with the 230-metre Fairway (IMO 9132454) on its way to the South Island port to expand the shipping channel.
The hopper dredge is to widen the channel by 20 metres and deepening it to allow vessels with 13.3-metre drafts to call at the port.
The initial stage of the works, which Boskalis is to carry out, will lengthen Lyttelton’s channel by 2.5 kilometres and is expected to take 11 weeks to complete.
The dredge Fairway is presently in Mumbai completing a project, and is to stop in Singapore for cleaning before proceeding on to Lyttelton.
Environment Canterbury, the regional environmental council, is satisfied that LPC’s plans balance what is best for the environment, the community and the growing regional economy.
While Fairway is working, a plume will be clearly visible from the dredge, but LPC environmental advisor Jared Pettersson said this is a normal aspect of the dredging process.
“The environmental effects of the plume were evaluated during the consent process,” he said.
“It was found any environmental effects would be minimal and short-term as the ecosystem is used to naturally occurring fluctuations in water clarity.”
“We have implemented New Zealand’s most robust real-time water quality monitoring system that will ensure the proposed dredging does not result in adverse outcomes for the environment.”